Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Month: November 2009

Militias – The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’s Genies (1): A Look Back

Thomas Ruttig

When I read Matthieu Aikins’ brilliant reportage in Harpers (‘The Master of Spin Boldak’) about the mutation of a 1980s tribal militia into a drug trafficking network that survives to the day, I was reminded of an episode in 1988. I was living in Wazir Akbar Khan then. Around the corner was the house of […]

Context and Culture Read more

AAN Guest Blog: Some ANSF Maths

AAN Guests

The following blog is contributed by A FRIEND of AAN in Kabul who – for a good reason which in the media is usually described as that she/he is not authorized to speak about the subject – does not want to see her/his name printed here. After following the recent discussions about number increases in […]

War and Peace Read more

AAN Guest Blog: A ‘weapons system’ based on wishful thinking

Andrew Wilder

Recently, indications are appearing that a new round of massive money dropping is about to start in Afghanistan order marginalise the Taleban. By ANDREW WILDER* The theoretical basis of this approach seems to be twofold. First, there is the old and often-disproved formula that ‘development’ kind of automatically translates into ‘security’ and wins a lot of […]

International Engagement Read more

Soon to come: AAN policy paper: The ‘Afpak’ Strategy – Perceptions and Visions in Pakistan

AAN admin

Based on earlier experience with the United States, from the very beginning there was an inherent element of doubt amongst political actors and analysts in Pakistan in the sincerity of the new ‘Afpak’ policy says Pakistan expert Karl Fischer who is authoring AAN’s next policy paper. Asked for a summary assessment, many tend to revert […]

Events Read more

Waiting and watching

Martine van Bijlert

So I am not in Afghanistan (no, not evacuated – just no reason to come rushing back once the second round was called off). Not part of the local speculation game on who is going to be part of the new cabinet and who will get which positions and based on which deal – although […]

Political Landscape Read more

New Book: ‘Empires of Mud’

Thomas Ruttig

Antonio Giustozzi is arguably the most studious and productive researcher and author on Afghan affairs. His output is based on insight won during intensive travels to the country far beyond the capital. After editing the recently published ‘Decoding the New Taliban” – with AAN members and friends contributing some chapters – he has now put […]

Context and Culture Read more

Prof. Rasul Amin passed away

Thomas Ruttig

AAN has just learned of the passing away of leading Afghan scholar and politician Professor Rasul Amin during a stay in Australia on 31 October at the age of 72 Born on 10 May 1939 at Watapur in Kunar province, Rasul Amin was son of a prominent khan of the Safi tribe. His mother was […]

Political Landscape Read more

AAN Election Blog No. 40: The President has been elected

Martine van Bijlert

Afghanistan has a new president. After several hours of deliberation on how to respond to Abdullah’s pull-out (and after initial statements that Saturday’s second round would go ahead as planned) the IEC announced today that as Karzai had received most votes in the first round and no longer had a competitor in the second, he […]

Political Landscape Read more

AAN Election Blog No 39: Deeper into the One-Way Street

Thomas Ruttig

Not the pull-out of Karzai challenger Dr Abdullah brought the Afghan election process into a crisis. It was the irresponsible decision to hold a run-off within two weeks in a country like Afghanistan after the credibility of the first round had drowned in a flood over one million votes rigged in favour of Karzai. The […]

Political Landscape Read more

AAN In The Media – November 2009

AAN Team

Talking with the Taliban Time magazine, 30 November 2009 In this analysis of the pros and cons of negotiiating with the Taleban, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted: ‘Even before 9/11 the [Taleban] wanted to play ball. We didn’t take them seriously then, but we should start doing that now.’ Liberal Peace is dead? Not so […]

AAN in the Media Read more